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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Broodryk considering other club offers after Murray & Roberts' decision to withdraw sponsorship

Murray & Roberts Running Club top runner Adele Broodryk says no one is to blame for the unfortunate circumstances that have forced the global mining and construction giant to pull the plug on sponsoring athletics in South Africa. Earlier this week club chairman Ed Jardim penned a letter to all club members outlining the reasons why the company opted not to continue to invest in running beyond June 2023.

In the next six months, the yellow and black team will continue their sponsorship but under limited conditions. The club won't be able to pay for traveling, accommodation and race entry for the elite athletes. However, they will continue paying their monthly retainers till June or will continue till further if a new sponsor is secured. The 31-year-old Broodryk who took a celebrated third place at the 2022 Comrades Marathon in a time of 6:26:35 feels for runners who are caught in the middle of the problem.

Broodryk on her way to claiming third place at the 2022 Comrades Marathon in 6:26:35. Photo Credit: Murray and Roberts Running Club.

"It just another unfortunate circumstance for us as runners. It quite sad that Murray & Roberts as the company are battling financially and they are forced to pull off their sponsorship in running," said Broodryk, who is a Lecturer by profession at North West University.

"When I was reading the letter, the first thing that came into my mind was runners especially those earning retainers every month. It would be quite difficult for them because the club treated us so well. They made sure we have everything we need to perform on race day. Some athletes are not working and rely on retainers to make a living. I'm fortunate that I have a job so I will be able to continue with life. As much as it painful, I'm positive that 80 percent of our elite runners will find new clubs pretty soon," she told #TheTopRunner.

Besides claiming the podium on her debut Comrades, Broodryk produced incredible performances last year in the ultra-Marathon distances. She won the Om Die Dam 50k, obtained sixth place finish at Two Oceans Marathon and was second in N12 North West Ultra Marathon. These are excellent results that drew interest from the other professional clubs who clamoured for the signature of the woman who was also the first South African finisher at the 2022 Soweto Marathon. With the uncertainty at Murray and Roberts, she is now taking those offers into consideration.

Broodryk running shoulder to shoulder with Comrades Marathon Donw Run record holder David Gatebe on her way to winning the Om Die Dam 50km Ultra Marathon in June. Photo Credit: SmaxPix

"Oh yeah, there is a huge chances I might turn up in new club colours. Before this, I had like offers from other clubs that wanted me to join them," she revealed. "Am I considering them now? Yes. I'm going to go through all of them and see what works for me. The honest truth is that I won't be able to finance myself especially preparing for the Comrades race. Besides Comrades, the races I managed to do last year, I can't manage all the costs on my own."

Despite this setback, Broodryk is positive the club will secure a new sponsor quite soon. "I wish they can get the sponsor soon. I trust that management can work on something for the sake of the runners. I treat this as a minor setback."

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